February 2018, Vol. 18 No. 2
Warm up by going outside. It's time for the annual Maple Syrup Boil-Down at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. The sap is rising and the trees are tapped, and this is the only time of the year that nature provides this opportunity. Learn how the sap is boiled into syrup, and taste the results over cornbread made from cornmeal ground at the mill. Bundle up, and head to the mill on February 11 or March 4.
And make plans to return in spring, because this park displays a fireworks show of color when the azaleas bloom.
The artiFACTS web page introduces you to slipware, a type of coloring used in the decoration of ceramic. It originated in Staffordshire, England, and it is found today in American archaeological sites. Learn a little about it, and peek at one of the pieces in the county's historic collections on the artiFACTS web page.
New Year's Day was cold and frosty, yet more than 130 photos shot on January 1 were submitted in the 2018 First Hike Photo Contest. The winning pic, selected by Facebook voters, was a view of a frozen Potomac River at Riverbend Park. Patricia Strat was the photographer who won a four-month RECenter pass.
See photos from the contest online.
Use less energy, create less pollution. The Fairfax County Park Authority takes that to heart. The agency named an energy manager to oversee major changes in parks that lower our energy use, protect resources, and save taxpayer money. Get the details on our blog.
This worked.We took a park with a garden, connected it with a school, mixed it all up with some dirt, and poof! -- a harvest of healthy food and smarter kids. Learn on our blog how youngsters from Floris Elementary School opened the way to healthier diets and brought local food to local kids.
Got your seeds? Ready to plant? It's time to start thinking about the yard and the garden. Green Spring Gardens stuffs February with gardening ideas, information and tools for the coming year. Among the offerings:
The Harry Allen Winter Lecture Series
Tips on Small Space Gardening
The Washington Garden Magazine Seed Exchange
The Annual Eco-Savvy Symposium
Talks with Master Gardeners
Blooming Witch Hazels
Ever kiss a toad goodnight? Setting aside your memories of bad dates, give your kids a chance to throw goodnight kisses to the animals at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Dress the youngsters in their pajamas for an Animal PJ party at the nature center. Hidden Oaks this month also celebrates Flying Squirrels and the Chinese Year of the Earth Dog.
Local farmers have stories to tell about growing your family's food. Meet some of them, and chat about the harvests from Virginia Farms on February 11 and March 11 at the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center.
Take your Valentine to a park. The big celebration, of course, is the Animal Sweethearts Dance for three-to-five year-olds at Hidden Pond Nature Center on February 10. Love is in the air during a Valentine Tea and Poetry reading on February 11 at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Youngsters four-to-eight celebrate Animal Valentines on February 11 at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. And three-to-nine year-old lovebirds gather for bird walks at Riverbend Park on February 3, 10, and 14. See a list of other Valentine's Day ideas in parks. And just walking together hand-in-hand in a park isn't a bad idea, either.
Need some tips on shooting photos of your pets? That's the lead story in the latest issue of Snapshots, our free newsletter about photography in Fairfax County parks. Get tips on pets, shooting photos with words in mind, and preserving photos in the latest issue of Snapshots.
Feb. 17: Eco-Savvy Symposium at Green Spring Gardens
Feb. 17: Astronomy Festival at Turner Farm
Best Snow Trails in FCPA Parks
Program Listings by Park:
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